Sat, Sep 06, 2014 - Page 3 News List

TAINTED OIL SCANDAL: Lawmaker calls for harsh penalties

REPEAT OFFENDERS:The KMT’s Tsai Chin-lung said the recycled oil scandal and related incidents are a sign of inadequate internal controls by food manufacturers

Staff writer, with CNA

A Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker said yesterday that he would push for a law amendment to increase penalties for food manufacturers that repeatedly violate food safety regulations, in the wake of a recycled oil scandal that affects many well-known manufacturers.

The Chuan Tung (全統) brand of lard-based oil produced by Kaohsiung-based Chang Guann Co (強冠企業) has been found to have been made with recycled oil and leather cleaner.

Wei Chuan Foods Corp (味全食品工業), which was accused of using adulterated ingredients in some of its edible oil products last year, was found to be using Chuan Tung oil in its food products.

KMT Legislator Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆), a member of the legislative Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, said such repeat offenses were evidence of inadequate internal controls by food manufacturers and should be strictly penalized.

Tsai proposed revoking the licenses of food manufacturers that repeat the same offense within a year, and raising the fines for those repeating the same offense within three years.

The companies’ owners should also be barred from traveling abroad and should have their assets seized and distributed as compensation for consumers, he said.

Furthermore, he said that if any of their suppliers are involved in compromising food safety, food manufacturers should take the initiative to report them to the authorities, or risk being considered accomplices.

However, KMT Legislator Chiang Hui-chen (江惠貞) said that amending the Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) is not the issue, because it is already strict.

What is more important, she said, is for the courts to hand down the heaviest penalties possible to offenders.

Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said food manufacturers are responsible for investigating products provided by their suppliers, even if they are licensed.

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